Alberto expected to make landfall Monday

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba in Bahia Honda

Alberto could cause $400 million to $500 million across the South, including damage to cars crushed by toppled trees, wrecked roofs and flooding, Watson said in an interview. Forecasters cautioned that heavy rain and tropical storm conditions could reach the northern Gulf Coast well ahead of the center of Alberto making landfall.

Monday morning, Alberto was moving at about 6 mph -down from 14 mph and then 12 mph on Sunday- with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph.

Overnight, Subtropical Storm Alberto approaching the Florida panhandle slowed down to half its speed but didn't lose any of its strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Cuba.

A news release from Florida Gov. Rick Scott said that for Taylor County, "Voluntary evacuations have been issued for those in coastal zones and beach communities (Keaton, Dekel, Cedar, Dark Islands), mobile homes, RV parks and low-lying areas".

A few tornadoes were also possible across the Florida peninsula Sunday.

All three counties are in north Florida. A more destructive storm could develop over the next 48 hours. Storm surge flooding was less of a concern because Alberto's arrival would not coincide with high tide, he said.

Mark Bowen, the Bay County emergency management director, suggested people stay safe - preferably indoors.




Jeffrey Medlin, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service's Mobile office, warned that even after the storm passes there will still be swells that could cause unsafe rip currents. The heavy rain along with the saturated grounds could lead to some flash flooding. Even getting there, it's a process that first features areas of drizzle and showers early this morning. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas getting as much as a foot of rain.

Many business owners spent the weekend filling sandbags and preparing for the brunt of the storm. It had winds of up to 60 miles per hour and was expected to increase to tropical storm conditions as it gets closer to shore.

Hardest hit will be small businesses that expected revenue from Memorial Day weekend tourists, Watson said.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season's first storm, Alberto, is set to make landfall east of Pensacola, Fla., in the early afternoon - just shy of hurricane intensity. A tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River to the Alabama/Florida border.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018.

Trivia: Although subtropical storms have always been a part of the historical record, they were not officially given names until 2002. In fact, upper 80s will be widespread inland tomorrow with low 80s at the coast before sea breezes knock the numbers back into the 70s there.

Heavy downpours are expected to begin lashing parts of those states on Sunday.

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